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Vernon Carey Jr. Commits to Duke


Coach K is still landing top five targets without Jeff Capel.

Live on SportsCenter, Vernon Carey announced he will attend Duke next year.  The No. 3 player in America picked the Blue Devils over North Carolina and Michigan State.  Carey used a new commitment trick: he pulled out an embroidered handkerchief to reveal his selection.


Kentucky was initially in the picture for Carey but failed to make the final cut.

It’s always a blow to see a former UK recruit commit to Duke, but there is a positive spin: Carey’s commitment takes up a Duke frontcourt spot next season.  Will Matthew Hurt want to split time with Carey?  Duke’s 2018 class didn’t mind, but it could potentially help the Cats land Hurt in 2019.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

81 responses to “Vernon Carey Jr. Commits to Duke”

  1. CombatMedic_98

    Big Money gets Big-Time Players…glad Cal is doing it the hard, right over the easy wrong…!

    1. DelrayCat

      The only difference is Cal is missing on these sure-fire one-and-dones and maybe ending up with more of a veteran core as time goes on. Believe me, he would love to have 5 superstar freshmen every year starting…but as we can see those days seem over and we will begin to pattern a program more like Kansas and UNC rather than Duke. One that keeps several vets at all times and only brings in 3-4 new guys each year rather than 5-7+. It is what so many fan wanted…to maintain some continuity…now maybe we are getting that. The problem is that a guy like Nick Richards takes a a 4 year scholarship and may never really improve, yet lessening the possibility of attracting a top-flight center who may be afraid he wont start right away because we likely already have Richards penciled in starting at center next year….unless he transfers…

    2. chris43

      I’m not sure anyone is fearing Richards. I wish he’d transfer. Hate to sound this way but we’ve also got another guy on roster who’ll most likely never play in Baker. I’m fine with no landing the top freshman BUT if you’re not getting those guys the 5-30ish ranked players that stay 2-4 years MUST develop. If you’re vets develop along with bringing in a nice mix of new talent each year I actually prefer that to one and dones every year. But key factor is 2-4 year players MUST become stars or at least QUALITY PLAYERS over time.

    3. timbo

      Well you and Delray have it figured out! Cal should:
      1) Make SURE he gets players ranked from 5-30 (all 25 of that HUGE group of players year 1, if possible
      2) Convince them that a paycheck is less valuable than playing basketball for free every year no matter what. You can play for money when you’re a grown-up… it’s a 40-something’s league. All they really need is college, but if they have a 2 yr NBA career before arthritis, all the better
      3) Make SURE those guys become “stars”
      4) Don’t go for the BEST freshmen, they won’t pick us and if they do, they’ll just leave after overachieving in one incredibly successful season
      5) Force then to “develop” in this time frame (you cannot fully control the mental and physical development of another human in just one year; you MUST in 3-4)
      6) Go beat every other team that pursued those top 5-10 guys. If there’s one thing that’s obvious, they can’t win
      I don’t know why they pay coaches so much when they could have you old pros for $30K / season!

    4. a21CATSfan

      If players are staying away because of Nick Richards, they need to grow some testicles.

    5. jahanc2uky

      2 reasons Cal is getting punked in recruiting. 1 The Media, college gameday has 2 Puke Alums. Jay Bias can say he is un-bias all he wants, but there has NEVER been criticism of coach K since Jay has been on the scene. K telling the fans to temper their expectations on RJ Barrett is a JOKE! Coach K should have been crushed for telling fans to lower their expectations for the best fresh since Carmelo Anthony. 2 Coack K owns USA Basketball. If these players want to continue to be in the pipeline for USA Basketball, you have to choose the schools where there are coaches greatly involved (this is untrue, but a narrative that makes sense to a kid). These 2 reasons will ultimately lead to Hurt picking Kansas or Duke over UK.

    6. a21CATSfan

      Yes, Cal really shit the bed with his National Team opportunity. And of all people, RJ Barrett just put it on him. Cal has been grooming the Canadian pipeline for years (Shai, Murray, Mulder, Lyles, Wiltjer) but couldn’t get it done with the once-in-a-lifetime Canadian guy. CATS

    7. jarred_combs

      Duke – 1 final four in 8 years. Kentucky – 4 final fours in 7 years. We’re fine. These “fans” crying about Cal need to leave because you’re not fans. We have it better than other fan base, Duke included. Compare the NBA talent. Only person duke has is kyrie, and maybe Tatum. UK has a laundry list, most NBA players of any school. I’m so sick of every crying. When duke disappoints again in the tournament what are you going to say?

  2. WatchutalkinboutWillis

    I’m not concerned about Hurt picking Duke. I do think Cole Anthony and now possibly Anthony Edwards will and that will stink.

    1. a21CATSfan

      Cole Anthony cut Duke from his list.

    2. Jiminy Crickets

      As of today, rivals thinks it’s UNC, but still lists Duke as top 5

    3. WatchutalkinboutWillis


  3. cats646

    Fuk!!!!! They’re payin these kids.

    1. DelrayCat

      Let’s face it. Use the same argument UK fans used to use. Why pay them when they are going to get paid big-time in 9-10 months from enrolling at Duke. Besides, they get the most exposure on national TV, have the “greatest” coach of all time, the most raucous crowd at their home games, and its a top-tier educational institution. Not to mention, with their steady stream of one-and-dones every year…a new starting spot opens every season for one of these guys. I’m jealous, your jealous, we are all jealous…but I doubt very seriously Duke needs to pay em.

    2. Alex90

      Duke has all those things 5 years ago and weren’t getting these kids

    3. Jiminy Crickets

      I think it’s funny when our fans claim foul play in recruiting, because every fanbase in the entire country accuses UK of cheating for recruits. There’s nothing UK can offer that UNC, Duke, or KU can’t offer. TV exposure, too competition, top talent on the roster. Etc. The difference is Coach K is seen as the greatest coach of all time, and Cal is seen (even by most UK fans) as a great recruiter and average coach. Add in the game day environment at Rupp sucks unless it’s a huge game, Duke is recruiting OADs, and they are the “hot” program, and this is what happens. UK had a chance to OWN college basketball, then the Wisconsin game happened, followed 2days later by Duke winning it. Then Coach Cal shit the bed in Team USA, and suddenly we are still a top 5 destination, but a full tier below duke. Right now it’s Duke, and everyone else in recruiting

    4. chris43

      I agree with the atmosphere at Rupp. Need to get the younger/rowdier fans closer to the court I’m not quite sure how that is accomplished but it is a boring and somewhat quiet atmosphere most of the time especially when compared to other schools.

    5. Carcrook

      I think not picking, Bol as a member of that team hurt us, too.

    6. Wade

      Doesn’t help we get waxed by duke bc if we won people could say dukes paying but when you lose we have no argument! K is a better coach! I love cal but cal is in decline a bit and wants to leave a clean legacy. He’s not gonna cross lines and I’m fine with that. Just want cal to stay for 5 more years and have some stacked teams with kentucky kids on the roster. That’s a winning recipe. And it’s funny we should start 5 freshman this yr. Hagans/herro/ quick/ Keldon and ej or Reid he’s still a freshman imo! I think next yr is last yr of freshman soph dominated teams and we hit our 1 top 5 and 1 top 10 player a yr then whatever position needs depth. Won’t matter if we miss on a guy soon bc we will have depth! Still need to have a couple one and dones though for cal to boost his ego as a recruiter bc duke is the new one and done school! I don’t mind it but not happy they got Zion. I wanted that kid! Thats the only player they ever got I wanted! Oh well.

    7. cats646

      For the record I don’t actually believe they’re paying these kids. Just don’t wanna believe they’re out recruiting us!

    8. rabblerabblerabble

      Ummm.. Alex90 Jabari Parker was the #2 recruit five years ago…

    9. a21CATSfan

      And Kyrie Irving before that…

  4. Jiminy Crickets

    Been posting for over a month that Carey, Anthony and Stewart will go to duke.

    1. Bobbum Man

      We know, you say it on every post

    2. a21CATSfan

      Too bad you’re already wrong. Cole Anthony is no longer considering Duke.

    3. catsarerunnin

      Can you please give me Powerball numbers Mr. Crickets since obviously you have the “gift”??

  5. Kojohnson

    A lil odd. Carey is a solid player but Duke player development with bigs are horrible. Last good duke big in the league is Elton Brand. Im from chicago and they didnt do anything to improve Oakfor game. Lets see how it plays out. I’ll take Mcdaniels and Hurts

    1. DelrayCat

      Let’s face it…there is no real development for a one-and-done. Real “development” comes in the NBA with a full-time professional system and 100 games a season…along with simple physical maturity as a 18-19 year old becomes a man. Some guys hit, some guys miss in the NBA…that is especially true for high school phenoms who fail to put in the work needed to maintain a long-term NBA career.

    2. StuckinLville

      I think Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns would disagree. They had no inside game when they came to UK and Davis especially would have been eaten alive if allowed to go straight pro outta high school.

    3. Alex90

      So Karl Towns didn’t develop at UK? So Shai and Knox didn’t develop just last year? Almost all players develop their freshman year because it’s a whole new game compared to high school Unless their the clear #1 pick

    4. J-Dub421

      And yet Cal manages to develop bigs at UK. AD, Towns, Willie, etc. all improved during their time here.

    5. Bobbum Man

      Marvin bagley?

    6. 4everUKblue

      What about Marvin Bagley?

    7. a21CATSfan

      Marvin Bagley was a sure-fire number 1 pick that went to Duke and absolutely dominated; only to not be the number 1 pick. Sound like Jahlil Okafor, Jabari Parker, etc? He also hasn’t started one game in the NBA, but is still jacking up 10 shots off the bench at barely a 50% clip.

    8. Kojohnson

      My point we develop players better. Duke has players complaining about their time there. Is it really a brotherhood?

  6. Jiminy Crickets

    Hurt was never really a duke lean. UK has to beat KU for Hurt.

  7. Blueballz

    Wait for the obligatory “KY isn’t for everybody” talking point from Cal in 3…2…1….

  8. Bigblue7982


  9. Wildfelinebeeline

    I’m sooooo glad I didn’t have to unfollow this one.

  10. StuckinLville

    Well good luck to him but we see K doesnt do much with his bigs.

    1. secrick

      Nick Richards??????

    2. cats646

      Dude junior nick Richards is gonna kick ass!!

    3. secrick

      He will never be a junior at Ky. Hope your right and i am wrong.

    4. a21CATSfan

      I think Orlando Antigua may have been more of the “big man whisperer” than Kenny Payne. But, I know for a fact Tony Barbee is just not getting it done. And Joel Justus wears really nice suits and is a cool guy with the kids, but no one knows who he is. They probably just think he’s a big UK fan that travels well.

    5. cats646

      Actually I’m joking. I can’t stand watching Nick Richards play.

  11. Headhurts

    Coach K is killing college b-ball with all these one and dones, oops I meant Calipari, misspoke.

    1. 4everUKblue

      Yeah Cal was killing college basketball but it’s ok for K. The hypocrisy is hard to take.

  12. Han

    Guess NBA success isn’t one of his goals.

    1. cats646

      Oh man that is painfully true!!

  13. CatsfaninFL

    This was posted on Citrus’Bowl FB page. Pretty good deal if anyone is looking. For those not from here, Fun Spot is like a mini theme park here.. but good deal.


      Think maybe LeGone is wanting special treatment that Cal cannot give but K will…? Maybe that is why he’s getting more top guys as well? Did you watch the Duke “insider” special (or whatever it was called)? Give it a gander and get back to me. Why anyone picks Duke over UK is beyond me.

  14. ukkatzfan

    I think there is an issue that Lebron has with Cal. Used to be, Lebron wanted his son to play for Cal. Now Lebron wants his son to play for K. I think that is recruiting wrapped up in a nutshell.

  15. secrick

    I will admit Cal didn’t have this team ready to play when we played Duke but that wasn’t for the final 4 or Ntl. Chmp.Only loss , lets see what happens this month.

    1. TheAssman

      Cal, how much longer are you going to put up with this…one or two recruits is no problem….5 or 6 or more is a trend that’s going in a bad direction. Shake some things up, whatever but this is getting old.

    2. TheAssman

      Wasn’t supposed to be a reply to you secrick, my bad.

  16. Tango98

    Maybe he’ll flip to Nebraska…

    1. cats646

      No way, he’s 100% committed.

    2. kybirdieman

      LMAO Duke paying players. They have the better coach and arena atmosphere. Cal is dead meat compared to K.

  17. Duey Lampier

    When K got in to the game, Cal was done! UK no longer gets the cream of the crop. With Cal’s defiencies coaching and his deficiencies in player development, UK will never win another title with Cal as coach. It’s over!!

    1. cats646

      I hope you’re wrong but I have to say you very well could be right. Sad but true.

  18. jmilburn

    Is it just me or does it feel like these recruits are allowed to cheat and get bribes if they go to Duke!! It just doesn’t make sense for a recruit more less a big go to duke instead of UK all i have to say here is okafor compare to Ad, Karl, . I mean if YOUR looking to become the best player possible you come to UK you will not get the most out of YOUR abilities at duke you just wont!! Mike is more worried about winning and Calipari will suffer some looses just to make a player or players better!! So what am i not seeing why in the heck is Duke getting all these recruit and the reason i think is bc Duke is ALLOWED TO CHEAT SO THEY WILL BE THE FACE OF COLLEGE BASKETBALL AND NOT CALIPARI THEY HATE CALIPARI I BELIVE THIS IS ALL A BIG CONSPIRACY THE NCAA AND DUKE GOT TOGETHER A WHILE AGO BC JOHN CALIPARI IS WAYY TO TRUTHFUL FOR THEM AND THEY HATE HIM BC HE IS FOR THE KIDS MIKE IS FOR THE $$$ AND WINS!!

  19. BigolBlue

    Suprised? Everyone shut up about money. Cal used to get the big guys too. Was he paying?

    1. cats646


    2. BigolBlue

      Good point

  20. BleedingBlue1996

    jmilburn needs to go somewhere else. That was probably one of the more incoherent statements (paragraph???) I have ever read anywhere. And your point is terrible. There is no conspiracy.

    1. bigbluebanana

      Why can’t conspiracy theorists ever spell correctly?

  21. Kat4Life

    Let’s not spend too much time wallowing in this…..screw him and Duke.

  22. nadkin

    Listen, with the one, and done coming to a end, next years elite players being able to not go to college, I believe Cal has seen the light a couple years ago. In the coming years 2-3 Year players are the new one, and done. He is starting that with last year, and this years, team. This will leave teams this year that has a lot of freshman leaving maybe not getting that talent next year, and starting to build a veteran team from scratch. That puts us a head of the curb in my opinion.

  23. sundanze77

    Please tell me why this is a relevant story on KSR. He dropped UK a couple of weeks ago…so move on please!!!

    1. TheAssman

      Uhhhh, becausev the #2 player in the country signed with the pukies, i think that qualifies.

  24. CopenhagenCat

    Im starting to think Cal might be going with the Villanova way of recruiting

  25. notFromhere

    People are clicking on the story, so they’ll keep posting them. Same goes for the WRobinson stories. They are taking their cues from the LHL. If it’s negative they’re positively going to publish it.

  26. timtim1960

    Cal couldn’t recruit a good offensive big man if his life depended on it swing and a miss again

  27. BCO

    Until we can land top 5 bigs…especially in the mold of Wiseman who can be elite on both ends of the court, we’ll continue to struggle. Friggin sucks to see duke land yet another stud big when their bigs havent done jack in the nba. Wtf is going on

  28. Danny44324

    Has everyone forgot UK has two top ten recruits coming in next year? Apparently. Some you should consider following Duke blogs.